A man targeted a lone female who he sexually assaulted in a park in a predatory attack, a court has heard.

William Skiffins, 21, had spotted the woman who had been making her way home after a night out in King’s Lynn.

Lori Tucker, prosecuting, told Norwich Crown Court that the woman, who was on the phone to her boyfriend, made her way down Norfolk Street along Railway Road before taking a cut through a park when she became aware of a man who asked her for a lighter.

Mrs Tucker said what happened next was “something of a blur” with the man trying to take her phone out of her hand before it fell to the ground.

Skiffins then got into a struggle with the victim, while she struggled to get him off.

Mrs Tucker said the defendant began pulling at her jeans before saying “let it happen”.

The ordeal, which lasted about 12 minutes, was brought to an end after a passer-by came along prompting the defendant to flee.

She told the passer-by, who stayed with her until police arrived, that she had been choked by her attacker.

What happened in the early hours of June 30 2018 was also heard over the phone by the victim’s boyfriend.

A statement from the victim revealed she was once confident but now had issues with anxiety and suffered “recurring nightmares” about what happened,

She is now worried about crossing paths with lone men and has not been able to pursue the career she had wanted to.

Skiffins, formerly from St Ives, Huntingdon, appeared at court on Thursday (May 21) for sentence having previously admitted sexual assault on a female.

Sentencing him to 18 months imprisonment Judge Maureen Bacon referred to it as an opportunistic and predatory attack.

He was made the subject of a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will have to sign on the sex offenders register for 10 years as well as being made the subject of a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting the victim indefinitely.

Juliet Donovan, mitigating, said he was “deeply ashamed” if the offence and does not want to drink again.

She said he had taken advantage of a situation where the victim was drunk and “tried it on” with her in a park before there was a struggle adding that he was “not proud” of his behaviour.